ITALIAN regional operator Ferrovienord has signed a contract with Hitachi Rail to receive another 50 3kV dc double-deck Caravaggio regional EMUs. The deal is worth €451.85m and is the third contract to be signed under a 2017 eight-year framework agreement between Hitachi and the Lombardy Region for up to 120 of the trains.

The order consists of 40 160km/h, 136.8m-long five-car trains and 10 109.6m-long four-car trains. The four car trains will have capacity for 466 seated and 449 standing passengers with eight doors on each side of the train. The five-car sets will have capacity for 598 seated and 575 standing passengers with 10 doors on each side.

Delivery is scheduled to begin in October 2022 and conclude in October 2024. The trains will be built at Hitachi’s factories in Reggio Calabria and Naples.

The trains will be equipped with ETCS as well as LED lighting, passenger Wi-Fi, 20V and USB power sockets, passenger information systems, passenger counting systems and front-mounted cameras. The trains will also benefit from remote controlled diagnostics, intelligent video surveillance and anomalous behaviour detection technology. Mobile platforms will enhance accessibility for people with reduced mobility while racks for bicycles and sockets for charging e-bikes will be available. The trains will offer a 30% reduction in energy consumption compared with existing trains as well as reduced noise, regenerative braking, and lightweight construction materials.

The contract is part of the Lombardy Region Plan agreed in 2017 initially for the purchase of 176 new trains, which was later expanded to 222 sets for a total investment of €1.958bn. Alstom secured an order for 31 Coradia Stream or Donizetti EMUs in November 2019 with the eight-year framework deal under the plan including an option for another 30 sets. Stadler also secured an eight-year framework deal for an initial 30 diesel-electric bi-mode trains in November 2018, which could be expanded to 50 trains.

Hitachi secured its first contract under the framework deal for 30 four-car Caravaggio sets in September 2018. Another €351m order was placed in March for 46 trains comprising 26 Caravaggio sets supplied by Hitachi, including 10 five-car trains for the Milan Malpensa airport shuttle service and 16 four-car trains for the planned Bergamo airport shuttle, and 20 Donizetti trains supplied by Alstom. 

Ferrovienord operates a 331km network in Lombardy, serving 124 stations with 36 of the new trains already in service.

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